“Tyumen News”: EURASIA KIDS want to be Friends

17/10/2020 20:00

Ekaterina Volodina with members of the Iinternational Friendship Club. Photo from the archive EURASIA KIDS

Drawing funny frogs the Tyumen girls imagined how these green travellers from the Siberian swamps would cross the ocean and please the girls’ peers from America.

Cardboard guests and letters of friendship

Frogs also flew from Los Angeles to Tyumen, but they were hooked. It turned out that the guys in California are very fond of such heroes. Young participants of the EURASIA KIDS International Friendship Club will learn a lot about each other during the conversation. During two years of this cultural and educational project, girls and boys from Tyumen, Nizhnevartovsk, and Surgut have established correspondence with their peers from the United States, Germany, Israel, Austria, Moldova, and Kazakhstan…

Mail delivers “letters of friendship” and made of cardboard characters to different parts of the world. Each child can draw his own paper character and send it on a real mail trip to different cities and countries, as well as receive cardboard “guests” at home. The Khanty-Mansi and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous districts actively joined this children's initiative. There are no borders and obstacles for young dreamers, geographers and those who are looking for new friends.

Now the guys are waiting a fish Moon for a visit. Having set off from the Czech Republic, she has already visited Austria and is “swimming” to Russia to get acquainted with the Siberian rivers. Thanks to the Internet connection, children will definitely see the Moon exploring the Northern Ob and Tyumen Region.

Children really like real and online travel around the huge Tyumen region, which is located in the heart of Eurasia.

With respect to the whole world

In the year of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory, the Club organized the “Dove of Peace” campaign. From May to the end of summer, the children made paper birds, launching them on a journey around the world. Pigeons from Kazakhstan and Belarus “flew” to Russia. “When we received a letter with a white Dove of Peace from a boy from Ukraine, we were very touched. Children want to be friends. They are wiser than us, adults, in matters of good attitude to other nations and cultures,” - said the author and head of the EURASIA KIDS International friendship club, writer and public figure Ekaterina Volodina.

- As a child, I was a member of the International friendship club. I remember the delight and awe with which you hold in your hands real, live letters written in foreign letters. Today, children have lost this pleasure. The organization disappeared along with the Soviet Union. But the idea of friendship between children from all over the world has always remained relevant, - said Ekaterina Volodina. - For many years, working with children of all ages, I thought about the possibility of reviving such a movement in Russia. The idea was once supported by the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Assembly of peoples of Russia Nikolai Arkadyevich Bukhonin. He is our countryman, a leading expert in the field of interethnic relations, a kind and wise man. The project took place and is working under the wing of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly.

As the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Assembly of peoples of Russia Nazirjon Abduganiev noted, the International friendship club forms social and political activity in children and adolescents, instils a spirit of peace, tolerance, rejection of nationalism, racism and extremism.

Ekaterina Vladimirovna has made friends all over the world thanks to her active work in the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly. Children have the opportunity to correspond with children's clubs and entire school classes. Kids send each other drawings and put pleasant surprises in envelopes. Students begin to write in English and strive to learn it. In Russia, we actively joined the project of the English language school SET.

The only difficulty in organizing correspondence with other countries is expensive postal services. But there is always a way out. Sending abroad the next issue of the Tyumen regional literary magazine “LiFFt”, its editor Ekaterina Volodina puts envelopes with children's messages in.

From songs to drawings

Correspondence is not the only activity of the EURASIA KIDS club. During the pandemic, the organization expanded its geography through electronic video communications, mail, and social media. Project activities and communication with peers are available to all groups of children, including children with disabilities.

Young journalists recently got a YouTube channel of the EURASIA KIDS International Friendship Club. The guys shoot videos and send each other “Greetings from all over the world”. With great pleasure, kids-musicians master national instruments. Tyumen guys from the EURASIA KIDS Club developed the idea of a web series “Memory Card” about the Great Patriotic War and the link between generations. Six episodes were published about songs of the war years, interesting facts and legends related to them, and the meanings of these works.

During the period of self-isolation, the EURASIA KIDS International Friendship Club held a large-scale event “Reading Evenings on Quarantine”. Children read poems of their favourite authors and their own compositions online in the evenings. On Children's Day, kids participated in an online-warm-up-exercises contest. The most funny sports warm-ups were held in the villages of the Tyumen region.

Nizhnevartovsk Centre for medical prevention held a “health lesson” with the children.” In a matter of minutes, the guys collected more than 300 photos in the album of a bright photo gallery “Hello, summer! Almost a thousand children's drawings with wonderful flowers, birds, fish and everything that inspires children came to the contest “Draw the summer”. Tyumen and Nizhnevartovsk residents held a regional contest for the prevention of injuries among children and adolescents “Children - Summer! Injuries - STOP!” More than 250 children took part in it. The International Friendship Club plans to spend a big week of friendship in the South of the region, Yugra and Yamal.

- We want to make badges or certificates with the logo of our EURASIA KIDS International Friendship Club which would mark the child's membership in the International friendship club, - said Ekaterina Volodina. - Childhood passes quickly. And the memory of these carefree times should be preserved. We hope that participation in the club's events will remain in kids’ memory as a bright page in life.

More than 500 children from the Tyumen region take part in the events of the EURASIA KIDS International Friendship Club.

Alexandra Buchinskaya